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Tampa airport relying on new tech to help keep facilities clean

Posted at 11:24 PM, Jul 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-15 23:24:44-04

TAMPA, Fla. -- New technology is helping keep things clean at the airport, as Tampa International Airport says it’s starting to see more traffic.

It most recently rolled out new machines using robot software at escalators. They can sanitize the handrails a mile a minute, according to the airport.

“We have a number of tools now to sanitize and disinfect areas that are more efficient than what we had before,” said airport spokesperson Emily Nipps.

She said they have a number of tools to sanitize and disinfect areas more efficiently.

The airport features a system that uses pressure-washing methods for touchless cleaning of restroom floors and large surfaces. The machines spray disinfectant onto the surface to clean large areas in a small amount of time.

Electrostatic sprayers are also used to disinfect surfaces and touchpoints. In addition, they’ve increased the frequency of cleaning and added staff for the job.

“There’s some things you can’t avoid touching we want to make sure we’re cleaning those as best as we possibly can,” she said.

Nipps said in the fall, they’re looking into installing a program that can count the number of people going in and out of a restroom in real-time so janitorial staff can be deployed when there’s high traffic, for instance, after a lot of people get off a plane.

“I think it’s good to be cautious for yourself,” said traveler Miranda Doyel.

She and her fiancé flew to Utah for a hiking trip in June, where she said they were away from other people and became engaged.

“I think I was expecting it to be extremely sterile and kind of weird feeling when you walked in, but it felt like the airport,” Doyel said.

She said they took extra precautions.

“I can tell you I had extra hand sanitizer with me. I was cautious about not touching typical things that I would simply even opening a door I made sure I was grabbing a door with a Lysol wipe or something protecting my hand from that surface,” she said.

Doyel said in the future, she hopes to see more face masks and temperature checks.

Now, face masks are required at the airport, per the city’s order. The airport is also providing face masks free of charge. Travelers are also advised to limit touchpoints, arrive early to help avoid crowds, not go into the main terminal to meet someone.